Physicool, a cooling compression bandage which featured on BBC’s Dragons Den, could save the NHS over £20m a year in England and Wales according to a new report .
Orthopaedic surgeons at Dorset County hospital (DCH) recently carried out a trial of 80 patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. After the operation 40 patients used Physicool and 40 used the traditional Cryocuff (a bulky, preformed knee cuff which needs to be attached to a coolant unit). The results for Physicool were significantly better than for Cryocuff . The patients using Physicool had a 50% reduction in pain and a 50% increase in mobility compared to those using Cryocuff.
There were also considerable cost savings as Physicool reusable cooling bandages cost up to 63% less than Cryocuff. New research carried out by Medilink  shows that by making a simple switch from Cryocuff to Physicool, a saving of nearly £20m would be made in one year by the NHS, without taking into account the potential reduced length of hospital stay and fewer hospital appointments. With knee replacement surgery costing approximately £6,000 per hospital procedure, the saving would pay for more than 3000 extra knee replacements a year.
Consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at DCH, Simon Garrett said: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our patient care. If we can reduce the pain following knee replacement surgery, we can get patients up and moving more quickly and they may be able to leave hospital sooner. We found that post-operatively, patient pain scores were much reduced and Physicool made a dramatic difference. Using Physicool also made significant cost savings in terms of comparable treatment methods. An additional benefit is that patients can easily self-treat at home as the bandage is reusable and easy to apply, meaning that patients are likely to need less post -operative hospital appointments.”
Physicool provides cooling, compression and support to reduce pain and swelling after trauma. can be used to treat inflammation and bruising of muscles, tendons and ligaments. It works through evaporation and draws heat away from the affected area rather than just cooling the skin.
Knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty), involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint. It's a routine operation for knee pain most commonly caused by osteoarthritis.
More than 70,000 knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales each year, and the number is rising. More knee replacements are now carried out than hip replacements. A replacement knee joint usually lasts for 15 to 20 years.
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